The high school baseball season just isn’t long enough for some.
For the past two summers, the Eastern Kentucky Summer Baseball League Tournament has filled the void.
The teams are comprised of returning players for the following nine area schools: Lawrence County, East Carter, Boyd County, Johnson Central, Rowan County, Greenup County, Paintsville, Russell and Prestonsburg.
The nine-team field will duke it out in a double-elimination tournament this weekend. Play begins on Thursday and wraps up on Sunday at Boyd County’s Addington Field.
There will be three games on Thursday, starting with Russell-Prestonsburg at 3 p.m. East Carter-Boyd County will follow at approximately 5:30, while Johnson Central and Rowan County will do battle in the nightcap at 8.
The first round will conclude on Friday with Greenup County-Paintsville at 10 a.m. and Lawrence County-(winner of Russell-P’burg) at 12:30 p.m.
A total of 16 or 17 games will be played. The championship game is set for Sunday at 3 p.m., with a possible rematch slated for 5:30.
Boyd County coach Brandon Ramsey is part of the group who formed the league.
“It is a chance to play local teams with your returning high school players,” Ramsey said. “The league was started by a few of us who wanted to play summer ball without having to travel a lot.”
The teams try to finish before the fall sports teams officially start practice.
Most teams are led by the school’s varsity head coach, with the exception of just a few.
The league schedule was 20 games, with just 10 counting toward seeding for the tournament. With the abundance of rain this summer, several games were canceled.
Lawrence County finished with the best league record at 7-1, thus earning the Bulldogs the top seed for this weekend.
A tournament was not played last summer due to various reasons.
The team that emerges on top this Sunday advances to play in a state tournament on the weekend of July 20.